How to Write What You Know—and What You Don't

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When I was in the 7th grade I had the chance to meet Madeleine L'Engle at a young writer's conference. I think I only shook her hand and said hi, not knowing what else to say, even though she wrote one of my all-time favorite children's books, A Wrinkle in Time. I didn't have an appreciation for the mastery of her art until I was much older.

A few years ago Carole F. Chase helped L'Engle compile bits about her life into a book called Madeleine L'Engle Herself

Crystal King

Craft Advice

When a #FAIL is Really #WINNING

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So you’re a writer, but you’ve never been published. That’s fine. Let me just ask you one thing: Where is your graveyard? Where are you putting all your beautiful, polished pieces? In a drawer? Under your mattress? At the bottom of your pet cockatoo’s birdcage? For me, it was the computer hard drive. I was storing all my best short stories in a folder called “HOORAY! DONE!” I wish I were kidding.

Liz Breen

Craft Advice

Five Reasons Why the Book Tour Is Not Dead

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by Ethan Gilsdorf

Is the book tour dead?

It's true that the lavish, publisher-funded, four-star hotel tour with handler, driver and copious bowls of M&Ms (green ones carefully plucked) is over. If that even existed.

Today, with publishers facing woefully depleted publicity staffs and budgets, and the culture's current focus on ebooks, the Internet and social media, one wonders if the old-fashioned reading tour is even worthwhile.

Ethan Gilsdorf

Craft Advice

Memorable Memoirists: What makes a good storyteller?

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If you’ve ever been stuck at a party listening to someone else’s rambling personal anecdote, you know how important a good storyteller is to a good story. I saw two very different memoirists with recent books speak last month at Brookline Booksmith. Congressman Barney Frank provided additional color for his deeply personal and political book, Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage

Cara Wood

Craft Advice

Lit Link Loves: Our Internet Faves 6/1/15

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Once every few weeks or so we’ll feature our favorite literary links. As ever, we promise: You’ll laugh. You'll ponder. You won’t get any writing done. 


On YouTube, from Humble Beast, musician and spoken word poet Propaganda schools us on being "present" in our hyper-connected lives:


The Writing Life